Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis retires

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AP

Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis retires

Iowa will have a new offensive coordinator for the 2017 season after Greg Davis announced his retirement Friday.

Davis spent the past five seasons as the Hawkeyes' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He had a 43-year career as a college football coach, including stints as the head coach at Tulane and as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas, North Carolina and Texas prior to his time in Iowa City.

"I have had a wonderful five years with the Hawkeye football program," Davis said in the announcement. "I would like to thank coach (Kirk) Ferentz, the entire staff, our players and Iowa fans everywhere. (Wife) Patsy and I have enjoyed our time in Iowa and not just the football part of it. The people of Iowa City and Hawkeye fans have been great. While we have our home in Dallas, there is no doubt we will be Hawkeye fans forever.
 
"This is my decision, but not a decision that was reached lightly. I remain passionate about the game of football and enjoyed teaching football to our players every day. Patsy has been a trooper through all these years. We have learned and enjoyed every step along the way. It's time for me to get closer to our family."

Iowa won 39 games in the five seasons Davis served as Ferentz's offensive coordinator, including that 12-win campaign in 2015, the winningest season in program history.

This past season, the Iowa offense not very effective, ranking 10th in the Big Ten in scoring (24.9 points a game) and 12th in the conference in yardage (325 yards a game).

The Hawkeyes ended their season with a thud, losing 30-3 to Florida in Monday's Outback Bowl.

There will be plenty of turnover on the Iowa offense next season. In addition to losing Davis, senior quarterback C.J. Beathard and senior running back LeShun Daniels Jr. will be moving on.

"I cannot thank Greg Davis enough for what he has meant to Iowa football these past five seasons," Ferentz said in the announcement. "Greg possesses a great football mind, and he brought a perspective and expertise to our program that made every one of our coaches and players better. Greg's coaching career spanned five decades, from high school to the biggest stage in college football — and each day he exemplified passion for the game while instilling character in his players. That is 'love for the game,' and without Greg, there's a little less of that in football today.

"Greg will be the first to admit he owes so much of his coaching success to his wife, Patsy. They were a wonderful team in Iowa City, and all of us with the Iowa football program wish them the very best."

Big Ten reportedly talking about expanding conference basketball schedule

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USA TODAY

Big Ten reportedly talking about expanding conference basketball schedule

Conference play could be getting a bit longer in the Big Ten.

According to a Monday report from ESPN's Jeff Goodman, there are talks about expanding the Big Ten conference basketball schedule from 18 games to 20 games.

Commissioner Jim Delany told Goodman that while there hasn't been a vote among the league's coaches yet, there are ongoing discussions about lengthening conference play by a couple of games.

Conference play expanded a decade ago, when the number of league games jumped from 16 to 18 for the 2007-08 season.

In order for there to be enough days in between games for players, an expanded league schedule would mean the beginning of conference play coming earlier in December. Recently, conference play has typically started around New Year's. Of course, there will be a week earlier start to conference play this season with the Big Ten Tournament — at Madison Square Garden in New York — a week earlier than usual, wrapping a full week before Selection Sunday.

Similar moves have been made in football, with the Big Ten starting a nine-game conference slate last fall. It's meant league games in September — a no-no in the past — and this season will feature a conference matchup in the season's first week, when Indiana and Ohio State play on Aug. 31.

Expanding conference play in college basketball would have a similar effect as it has had on schedules in football. With fewer non-conference slots to fill, those games become more important to a team's NCAA tournament resume. It forces teams to schedule more high-profile opponents and eliminate games against small schools that generate little interest during the season's first couple months.

The ACC, a league that often runs neck and neck with the Big Ten in the debate over which is America's top basketball conference, announced it will be moving to a 20-game schedule last July, with that starting in the 2019-20 season.

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo shared some thoughts on the subject with Goodman, saying he expects the move to happen.

"I personally see us going to a 20-game schedule," Izzo told Goodman. "I don't think there's any question it's going to happen — and I'm not overly against it."

Ohio State has its new head coach in Butler's Chris Holtmann

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USA TODAY

Ohio State has its new head coach in Butler's Chris Holtmann

Ohio State found its next head basketball coach, going to one of Thad Matta's former employers to find the longtime coach's successor.

The school announced Friday morning that Butler head coach Chris Holtmann is the Buckeyes' new head coach.

Holtmann spent the past three seasons as the head coach at Butler, posting a 70-31 record and making NCAA tournament appearances in all three of those seasons, including a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in March. He was named the Big East Coach of the Year this past season.

Holtmann spent two seasons as an assistant at Ohio under former Illinois head coach John Groce, a former Matta assistant, before serving as the head coach at Gardner-Webb for three seasons. Holtmann left Gardner-Webb for an assistant-coaching job at Butler, though he was quickly promoted to interim head coach and then head coach in Indianapolis.

Holtmann takes over for Matta, who himself was the Butler head coach in the 2000-01 season before becoming the all-time wins leader at Ohio State. Matta's mostly successful tenure was ended earlier this week, when athletics director Gene Smith saw recruiting misses teaming with declining win totals to create a dip in Matta's success.

This week has been dominated by rumors and declarations of lack of interest from numerous candidates and possible candidates for the job. Xavier head coach Chris Mack and Creighton head coach Greg McDermott both made their decisions to stay at their current schools known via social media, and a report linking Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg to the job forced a no-interest comment from Hoiberg, too.

Despite those repeated "no thank yous," though, Ohio State is still seen to be one of the best jobs in college basketball thanks to one of the highest-profile athletics departments and one of the best conferences in the country, providing ample resources.

Recruiting will be a big expectation for Holtmann, as Matta's performance in that area dipped near the end of his tenure. The Buckeyes missed the NCAA tournament in each of the past two seasons, while Holtmann just took Butler to a No. 4 seed in the Big Dance, the highest in that program's history.